Auckland family with newborn baby calls for police to do more after home burgled three times in two days

A devastated Auckland man whose home was burgled three times in two days wants the police to respond to petty crime faster. 

It comes as the supercity continues to be gripped by criminal behaviour

Newshub was contacted by Johnny Singh after he was burgled earlier this week not once, but three times.

His under-renovation Ōnehunga home, which he's not currently living in but is staying in a property nearby with his wife and newborn baby, had thousands of dollars worth of items stolen in the early hours of Friday.

"It's like a bad movie - you walk into a room and you see everything gone and literally they've taken the heat pump, all my power tools - everything I need to finish my house off," he told Newshub.

Singh said he called the police and a forensic team was sent out to take fingerprints.

But, unfortunately, that wasn't the end of it.

"I'm sort of coming to terms with it Saturday evening… and then on Sunday morning, our wife's feeding our child, I'm up with her and she's like, 'What's that noise?'"

While Singh was hoping the noise was nothing, he went outside to check anyway. 

That's when he saw two men about to enter a vehicle to drive away from his property.

"I try and make conversation with them and they disappear pretty quickly and I try and chase them down the street but, obviously, I'm not going to win that one - so I'm on the phone to the police."

On this occasion, the burglars had smashed into the garage of Singh's under-renovation property - stealing "whatever they could" fit in their car. That included about $1600 worth of security cameras that were in the process of being installed.

"It's pretty devastating. I go back home and [my] wife's still feeding [the] baby… and I said, 'Ugh, we just got broken into again.'"

An on-edge Singh was confident the burglars wouldn't be back again given he had confronted them. Sadly, he was wrong.

"We thought, 'Oh, we just need some rest…' and we put our heads down and then we hear another clanking."

He said the burglars had now returned with a truck.

Auckland family with newborn baby calls for police to do more after home burgled three times in two days
Photo credit: Johnny Singh/Supplied

"They took everything," Singh said. "My dad passed away six years ago, he didn't leave us much but he had some power tools… they've stolen [them]."

He said he again confronted the burglars, who fled the scene in their truck.

Singh said he contacted the police again, trying to get officers to the scene immediately.

"These guys are just coming and helping themselves so what are you guys doing?" Singh said he asked the police call centre operator.

Frustrated, he got in his car to try and follow the burglars again - despite the call centre operator warning him not to do so.

 "I chased them for about 10 minutes while I'm on the phone, just to give the police a lead because I knew they were not going to get there in time.

"If I hadn't chased them, they would just be away scott-free."

At one point during the chase, Singh said the fleeing vehicle stopped momentarily before one person got out and brandished a weapon.

"I chucked [my car] into reverse… and at that point, he realises [he's] not going to get me.

"He jumps back in his car, not knowing what to do because I was keeping up with him at this point, and then they speed off… onto the motorway."

At this point, Singh abandoned the chase.

He said officers arrived at his house that afternoon to take a statement but he is frustrated by the response.

"I shouldn't be having to chase some dude with my shit on the back of his truck to get it back," Singh said. "I feel like the police aren't going to do enough to try and obtain my possessions.

"Ōnehunga is sick of it. I don't know what measures we have to take; you get a gate, you get an alarm, you lock your house up and these guys still come in."

In a statement, Auckland City East area prevention manager Rachel Dolheguy said investigations into the burglaries were underway.

"I ask anyone with any new information that may further assist us in apprehending those responsible to contact police so this can be assessed.

"Police understand how invasive burglaries can be on their victims, let alone being victimised in short succession.

"In some instances, our staff make arrests while an incident is unfolding, and in other cases, our staff work diligently with all lines of enquiry available to hold offenders to account."

Unfortunately, construction and renovation sites were often targeted by "opportunistic" offenders, Dolheguy said.

"There are certain processes and evidential sufficiency that is required when investigating burglaries, such as obtaining search warrants. Police do our best to ensure this is worked through in a timely manner.

"Our advice remains that if there is [a] risk to a person’s personal safety to contact 111 immediately. We also encourage people to not take matters into their own hands, instead to obtain all possible information and pass this to [the] police to take appropriate action."